Opponents have been using the hack-a-Jordan method recently against DeAndre Jordan.
The Clippers center averages 39.4% from the free-throw line this season -- slightly below his 42.2% career figure and well below his career high of 52.5% in 2011-12 -- making him even more of a liability from the charity stripe.
In Monday's 102-93 win over the Boston Celtics, Jordan shot six free throws -- more than any of his teammates -- and made three of them. In Saturday's 117-108 win over the Sacramento Kings, Jordan was two for eight from the line. In Friday's 126-121 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he was five for 12. He's shot 26 free throws over the last three games, and made only 10.
The hack-a-Jordan strategy puts Clippers Coach Doc Rivers in a bit of a bind. Does he let Jordan play through the fouls or does he get him off the court, perhaps shaking up his confidence at the line even more.
Further complicating that choice is Jordan's excellent play as of late. In Monday's win, he had 19 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots. He's leading the NBA in rebounding with 13.4 a game, he's second in blocked shots with 2.4 a game, and he's shooting a league-best 72.1% from the field after making eight of nine Monday.
In other words, Rivers wants him out there for as many minutes as possible.
Rivers said he vacillates in his decision-making on whether or not to keep Jordan on the court.
"I think every night it will be a decision," Rivers said. "I think he handles it well when you take him out. I've left him in at times too. It's just one of those game-to-game things. He works at it. He knows it's something people are going to use. And I know going into every game it's probably a decision I'm going to have to make."
When a reporter asked Jordan whether he prefers to play through the hack-a-thon or be taken out of the game, he initially joked in response.
"Honestly, it helps me get my scoring average up by making some," Jordan said. "No, but honestly, I don't really think about it. The guys give me so much confidence when I go to the line that I'm trying not to think about it as much. I honestly want to make them, but if I don't then we go down and get a stop. The score hasn't changed and we're still up by the same amount of points. It's Doc's decision, whatever it may be."
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